Utah woman who claimed self-defense charged with murdering husband inside martial arts studio in July

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 18:39:20-05

MAGNA, Utah — A woman has been charged in court for shooting and killing her husband inside their martial arts studio in Magna over the summer.

A single charge of first-degree felony murder (with domestic violence enhancement) was filed Tuesday against 41-year-old Cynthia Vincent.

Around 12:30 a.m. on July 6, Vincent called 911 to report that she had shot her husband at Vincent's House of Goju, which court records indicate they owned and also resided. She claimed she grabbed the revolver to defend herself after her husband strangled her, then shot him once when he lunged at her. Officers found his body laying just inside the studio's main entrance. Vincent was arrested later that day.

Investigators now say they do not believe the shooting was in self-defense after interviewing the suspect, analyzing evidence, and viewing security camera footage.

The "dojo" had motion-activated security cameras inside and outside. Police watched the footage from these cameras and said in the hours leading up to the shooting, the couple was walking around, talking with each other, hugging and kissing.

About 10 minutes before Vincent called the police, the surveillance footage shows her husband pacing around near the front door while wearing pajamas. Six minutes later, he was seen wearing jeans, a black shirt and black shoes. These were the same clothes he was wearing when he was found dead.

Vincent told police they had been fighting all weekend. She said before the shooting, she called a friend to ask them to pick her husband up.

LINK: Domestic violence resources

"He keeps coming at me. I'm scared. Come and get him before I kill him. I have my gun out," Vincent said, according to the friend. Her cell phone records show that she made a 19-second call to the friend at 12:27 a.m.

Police say there was no violence seen on the dojo's cameras. However, the charges indicate that the actual shooting and what immediately led to it were not captured on video.

The report states that a "burst of dust" was seen on camera at 12:28 a.m. — "the same time the motion sensor lights were activated." Police say the "camera time" then skipped to 12:35 a.m., when police are seen entering the building and Vincent was escorted out. It was not specified whether police believe the camera system was tampered with.

Investigators say there were inconsistencies in Vincent's story when she spoke with them post-Miranda-Warning.

She told detectives her husband fell backward after she shot him, described where they were standing and where he fell. However, she "immediately recognized that didn't make sense if he was facing her when she shot him." She tried to explain again, but police said it appeared she was guessing and that her account did not line up with the evidence.

Evidence, including an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office, indicated that the victim was shot in the side of the head while leaving the building through the front door.

After the shooting, court records also say Vincent tried to access and close financial accounts that they previously shared. She was not able to, though, because her husband had removed her from the accounts at some point before his death.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office requested that Vincent be held without bail because they believe she is a danger to the community and likely to flee.

Police identified the victim, her husband, as Michael Vincent.


Domestic violence victim resources (free, 24/7, confidential):

  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition:
    • Hotline: 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
    • Online help:
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.